• August 8, 2022

Andy Reid Had Better Get The Right Secondary Coach

When I step back and look at the changes the Birds have made to the coaching staff, I love what they have done on the offfensive and defensive lines.  The additions of veteran line coaches Howard Mudd and Jim Washburn is great and can’t be argued with.

Former Eagles players on the defensive coaching staff, assistant linebackers coach Mike Caldwell and assistant secondary coach Mike Zordich are still in place.  Reid didn’t clearly say whether they will continue in their roles on the staff or be promoted.  He did say that he wanted to get  the defensive coordinator, Juan Castillo, in place before they looked to fill the linebacker and secondary coaching positions.

Caldwell has a great feel for the linebacker position.  He played the game with his mind and had great instincts, which seems to translate in coaching. He’ll likely get the chance to grow more with Castillo at the helm, but I don’t think they’re going to make him the linebacker coach just yet.  He’ll be a great help to Castillo as he transitions into his new job.

I would still add a veteran linebacker coach to give Castillo more support.  They can’t afford to let Castillo stumble out of the blocks because of his inexperience on the job.

In the secondary, Zordich knows the safety position because like Caldwell he was player who played the game with his mind and knows a great deal about disguising coverages, reading formations and habits of the offense, as well as studying stats in preparation for a game.  He had a great for the timing needed in blitzing from the safety spot.

He didn’t have great speed but he was able to make plays at the line of scrimmage and still not get beat deep.  I think he’s one of the reasons that the Birds got quality play from rookie safeties, Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman. He’ll be a great help for the safeties, but Zordich’s expertise is not at the cornerback position.

I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that the number one problem the Eagles had on their defense was at the cornerback position.  Yes the Birds had a Pro Bowler in Asante Samuel at one cornerback spot, but the right cornerback position killed them most of the season.

Doesn’t it say something very loud, that the play of Ellis Hobbs, Dimitri Patterson and Trevard Lindley declined as the season played out.  Isn’t it reasonable that players would get better under good coaching.  The Eagles don’t have anybody on their staff who has played the cornerback position or mastered the knowledge of the position.

I would love to see them hire Green Bay cornerback coach Joe Whitt Jr..  I would put Zordich over the safeties and Whitt Jr. over  the corners.

Whitt Jr. has rookie free agent Sam Shields playing the cornerback position on a Pro Bowl level.  He’s developed free agent cornerback  Tramon Williams into a Pro Bowler.  Whitt Jr. has to be given credit for the fact that these two young cornerbacks have picked off five passes and returned one of them for a touchdown in the three playoff games the Packers have played so far.

Whitt Jr. has developed them to the point where they can take Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson and have him cover the slot.  They also leave them man-to-man on all receivers regardless of their speed.

I’m confident that Whitt Jr. will do the job with the cornerbacks but he’s only been a secondary coach for two years.  They need somebody back there who has more experience at the same time, they are in desperate need of better coaching of the cornerbacks.

The secondary coach who Reid brings in here will be especially important.  The NFL is a passing league.  You can’t be a competent defensive coordinator unless you have mastered the defense of the passing game.

Just to begin with.  Is Castillo a proponent man-to-man or zone?  How does he feel about cover 2 or cover 2 man?  Does he like his corners playing up and back?  What type of coverages does he believe in the red zone?  And what exactly was Sean McDermott doing wrong in the red zone?

In a thorough defensive coordinator interview, the questions would get a lot more specific and complicated and I would be shocked to believe Castillo could have mastered that area when his focus has been on blocking the front seven and picking up blitzes.

As much as I respect Castillo and his work ethic, nobody can tell me that he has mastered the complexities of the passing game.   I don’t buy his line about coaching his son, who is playing in the secondary at the University of Iowa.  The difference in pass coverage in the NFL and pass coverage in college is like the difference between addition and physics.

While coaching on the offensive line, Castillo hasn’t been working on a daily basis with the receivers and the secondary.  This is a world of its own. There are  specific techniques that Castillo doesn’t know like the back of his hands.

He’ll be fine in coaching the linebackers and the run stopping assignments, but he’s still learning pass defense.  They’ve got to get a secondary coach who can run the pass defense, until Castillo gets up to speed.  The candidate must come across as a master of the secondary and its coverages and techniques.  They especially need help with their cornerbacks.  Castillo isn’t a master of the man-to-man and zone techniques on the corner.

I love what they’re planning on doing on the defensive line.  The idea of turning the Eagles defensive line loose to get off on the snap of the ball.  They’re going to be attacking and assigned to get up the field.  They play the run on the way to the quarterback.  I could only imagine adding an Albert Haynesworth to that group and turning him loose.

This change should allow the defensive tackles to make more plays in the opponents’ backfield.  Antonio Dixon, Brodrick Bunkley, and Mike Patterson will be able to turn it loose at the snap of the ball.  Their main goal on each snap is to penetrate and get in the backfield by any means possible.  The big fellas will love it.

I played a defense in Detroit with Al “Bubba” Baker, Doug English and a number of other good defensive players and we led the league against the run and were one of the best defenses in the NFL for a number of years.  When I played for Buddy Ryan here in Philadelphia, he turned Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Clyde Simmons and the rest of our defensive line loose to get off on the ball and attack.  Our job as linebackers was to pick up on the scraps and force turnovers.

The defensive line would keep the offense off balance and reacting and we would come in and punish.  All the time we were attacking we looking for turnovers.  If you put pressure on the quarterbacks and punish them, they will turn the ball over.

I like the idea of relying on the front four primarily to pressure on the quarterback and attack the running game as well., but that secondary coach is the key.


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Juan Castillo: Coaching Prodigy

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  • I’m not sure why Whitt Jr. would make a lateral move from the Packers. He also has a chance to be the Secodary coach in GB if Darren Perry gets a DC gig.

  • G I totally agree, the Eagles have taken care of both the offensive and defensive lines by making the additions of washburn and mudd then having juan add his imput there, those are the two positions that really win championships in the trenches so they took care of that, now they need to bring in a guru corners coach to put the corners in the right position to make plays, I don’t think they will get whitt jr, the packs wont let him go to the eagles for the same position, though id be all for it

  • The previous LB coach(shuey) had a couple years of semi-pro football experience. I don’t think the eagles value the linebacker or the LB coach.

    I remember when the 76ers lost the NBA championship and came back with the commercial “We owe you one.” They eventually delivered.

    I wonder if the Eagles feel like they owe the city a Superbowl championship.

    I have no doubt that Juan Castillio is a decent coach. Good I don’t think so. The Eagles have spent 19 draft picks on offensive linemen. Traded for at least 2 other players that were starting on their previous team on the offensive line. And this years offensive line was an embarrassment. And the Last 2 games of last season against dallas was horrendous. All this with guys who have been drafted and in the system for years.

    If working hard and being smart was the qualiifcations for defensive coordinator then McDermott would still be here. It was his lack of experience, especially in the red zone that killed the Eagles. Juan does not have any NFL experience coaching and calling plays. You might as well mad Marty Morningwig the Defensive Coordinator. At least he had head coaching experience of running a offense and defense.

    Juan may be a good choice. But the bigger question is…Was he the BEST CHOICE? H E to the double LL NO!

    There are some Amazing Defensive schemes out there. That have worked in this modern era. The Steelers The Ravens and the Packers. Are you telling me that a Billion Dollar francise in one of the Biggest markets in the country, who because of Vick will be on National TV a ton again next season, could not hire a defensive mind WITH EXPERIENCE.

    Please save it.

    You want a championship you have to be better than good. You have to do your best. The Eagles did not do their best in this hire. He may be good. He’s not the best they could have done.

  • Hey GCobb do you think the reason why the eagles brought in all those secondary coaches was to have options there so they can now sign one of them to that same position here? Now they have Juan in place I wonder if they will sign one of these guys they interviewed

  • I know that a lot of people keep saying that Juan Castillo is a good and well respected offensive line coach. I look at “penalty peterson”, “dipstick dunlap”, “get by Mcglynn” and “No Justice” and see average at best.

    Maybe Andy saw the same thing. When the Eagles leaked the story that Juan may get a job in cleveland I thought it they were just trying to create buzz to get him a job. Andy now has a great offensive line coach. A great defensive line coach. It will be interesting to see who the other defensive coaches will be.

  • That experience factor or lack of experience is a key factor which shouldn’t be overlooked, that’s why they must get a secondary or linebacker coach with a ton of experience. Everybody doesn’t have to strong in the same area, but everybody can’t be weak in the same area, like last year’s defensive coaching staff, too much inexperience.

  • I agree BSM… 2 years ago we were supposed to have the biggest toughest Oline in the league…. we had 2 probowlers, 1 solid RG addition, our LG was up and coming and it was only a year or so before hand that we had 2 supposedly AMAZING c’s. we traded 1.

    That turned out to be a mess. in fact… that mess carried over into this year. I just dont see how we are going to turn him into a stud D cord.

    My Hopes/Fears:

    My hope is that he will turn this front 7 into a hungry, angry fat posse. My hope is that after working with 325 pound guys on Oline, he will HATE working with 220 pound Dlineman. My hope is that he and washburn will change the D thoght process. BTW PAULMAN how big are washburns lineman usually??

    My hope is that his passion carries over to this spot. My hope is that Reid will listen to him on draft day and will listen to him about what FA’s to bring in. My gutt tells me im dreaming.

    My biggest fear- i was really hoping that the new D cord would get in andys ear about running the ball more. I dont think its the #1 problem on this team but it IS a problem. I was hoping that the new guy would come from a team that has balance… if our Dcord coach couldnt convince andy to run while being the Oline coach….. its not gona happen now.

    Another crappy point- The eagles are being laughed at right now by other teams,players,coaches. We NEED to bring in FA talent this year. It NEEDS to happpen on the D side of the ball. Im not sure ii would come to philly if i was a stud CB knowing the q’s we now have at coaching.

    To DO list:
    1. Get a CB coach-I swear if they bring back Rory im done. At this point….it wouldnt surprise me.
    2. Get the coaches and D leaders together and get them on board. Asam’s hang up sums this up.
    3. Get Chilly in here and name him the RUN coach. His job is to say the word run everytime andy sips his coffee (or gravy if thats what he drinks).
    4. Get a CB in FA and one in the draft.
    5. Trade Kolb for a Midlinbacker and a draft pick.
    6. Sign ManCOW from the pats.
    7. Resign our backup RB
    8. Get Fatalbert is we can. if not… let washburn turn these boys into men.

    G, here is a q for you……. we are always being told but the FO that guys like…. MUdd, castillo, washburnm, April- are the best in the biz. is that being said OUTside the FO?

  • @bsmvideos, you’re on point today dude.

  • plus get longterm deals for both vick and Djack-

  • just read that Vick is hosting another night club party for the Superbowl…is anybody concerned about that?

  • Andy is a winner, i don’t care if it weak NFC, he always makes the right decision!!! When we needed a Wr we got thrash,when we needed LB Harrison,Woodley,and Mathews(all playing Sunday) we got Earnie Sims, Dt to stop the run we got bunkley,Babins sack total was not enough we got rid of the slacker(the jerk only got 12.5 sacks this yr)when we go to battle in war they send the airforce and the army,we just send airforce why risk the army,brilliant, this is the game of inches,when u need a great clock management,Andy is our MAN!! when it is 3rd and 2 or 4th and 1 u have complete faith in andy reid cause u know he will pass and we always get the first down cause our RB only ave 5.2 yds a carry,save the army,but at the end of the day i can go to sleep knowing andy reid is our coach

  • Other then a CB coach, anyone else think we need a new WR coach, Culley has been on this team sine 99, and during that time what has he done for us? The only WR on the team that has sound fundamentals is Avant. Jacks and Mac play more from their talent rather then fundamentals.

  • Has nothing to do with this thread, but what does everyone think about the Eagles getting vernon gholston. With Graham being out for most of next year were going to need another person in that spot.

    I rather trade a 4th-5th rounder for a guy like that where you risk turns out to be very small and your reward can be a first round talent. Give him to Washburn where he will treat him like a rookie and train him to be a star.

  • tydm -Don’t forget about that speedster return man/ skier and that fearless Pinkston who went over the middle with no fear and don’t forget that accomplished fullback/defensive tackle.

  • WTF tydm….you think what you say is so enlightening that you need to copy it into every article?

    Get over yourself….there was nothing earth shattering that needed to be repeated over and over again

  • I heard Reno mahe might recieve the Lb’s coaching postion!!!! This is a real big push for the eagles to get our Lb’s over the hump finally!!!!!!

  • jroc757 Probably because he has experience at being tackled and covered by linebackers as a player and always wanted to play defense and be the first manager of Chickie and Pete’s to become a coach.

  • AR never had trust with this offensive line to run a 4th and inches…….. So what makes you think he will trust Castillio to be the defensive coordinator to run the defense who has been dismal for the past two years……. The only trust that Andy can offer is a let down……… He’s loyal to his friends…… But to just settle for Nfc East championships and Nfc Champ titles……. He’s happy where he stands…….

  • @BIGE…… HAHAHAHAHAHAHA good one bro………. Chickie and pete’s!!!!

  • I’m pretty sure Golston is officially a BUST. Not sure this guy can play in the NFL but I could be wrong.

  • If you think Andy doesnt want a Super Bowl ring and is satisfied falling short , you know nothing of what drives a head coach of any sport team!

  • Zordich looks like he belongs on a construction site

  • @GGhouse……. Look at reids picture up top and tell me he wants to win a championship???? He knows if this year was a 500 season or less this wouldnt even be a discussion…….. We all know that Vick was a gem and provided one of the most exciting seasons in Eagles history……. But some will say that Vick saved Reid another season to coach……. Some say that Reid is losing his mind with his decision making as of late…….. Pick your Poison

  • Does anyone doubt the genuine interest of the Cleveland Browns in Castillo as a potential OC..
    Remember those reports a couple of weeks back.. I am sure Coach Ar had his buddies in Cleveland threw that out there just to see who if the idea that Castillo was at a “coordinator” level be taken seriously by those around the NFL..
    All a conspiracy as the Browns pay AR back a favor for the Eagles making it appear that they were interested in DB Coach Jauron as a Vaible Candidate for the Eagles DC when AR had no intention of ever hiring him and let the Browns work a deal with him while still employed by the Eagles.
    Also there was a question from yesterday’s press conference directly to Castillo on how he felt
    about the interest in the OC by the Browns and he acted and answered like he had no idea what the reporter was stating and then was quickly covered over by Coach AR chiming in and changing the subject…

  • sOMETIMES u have to repeat to sink in…Bush don’t go to war in iraq (2003), Congress we want jobs(last 30years),Andy run(last 12 years), Europe stop hitler before he gets too strong(1930’s),civil rights anytime now(early 1960’s)Indian mistreatment(1870’s) trouble in history is people stay quiet

  • @tydm…you equate the sh** you posted about the birds to all of those historical events??

    You got a pretty high opinion of yourself there tydm.

  • no i am very humble but 1 person in world can make a difference. i go to hospital and talk to cancer patients once a month and we give to charity still on 12/hr ……….ANYways,,,try to be funny here…CASTILLO is that like hiring the gardner to fix the plumbing

  • very good analogy tydm….worth repeating..lol

  • Kind of like when John Lennon start Dating Yoko Ono and bringing her to the recording studio
    towards the end of the Beatles… good grief…

  • tydm says:
    February 3, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    sOMETIMES u have to repeat to sink in…Bush don’t go to war in iraq (2003), Congress we want jobs(last 30years),Andy run(last 12 years), Europe stop hitler before he gets too strong(1930′s),civil rights anytime now(early 1960′s)Indian mistreatment(1870′s) trouble in history is people stay quiet

    All I can say is WOW. People need to be screened to leave comments or something. I got a headache from attempting to read/make sense of this lunacy. And then I see the same dudes long ass other comment copied and pasted on multiple articles on Gcobb, I guess trying to be funny, and again so hard to get through the typos and figure out whats trying to be said that my headache has now multiplied. THANKS TYDM

  • If you think tydm is a sexually frustrated homo with half a brain…….. Post after me.

  • Can you repeat that SB… ha

  • Just one more thought about the timing of this announcement..
    Does anyone think this was annouced so it would get buried by all the SUper Bowl Hoopla that is going on… I am sure most around the NFL or the Casual Fan won’t even remember J Castillo naming of DC
    by the weekend..

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